Weird News: The mother (board) of all toilets, Google goes odd

Plus: The internet is a strawberry, or something

It’s Friday yet again, which means it’s time to take a quick look over the more eccentric side of tech’s last seven days. The front pages may have been filled with smartphones, but here's what you might have missed...

Horrifying spider robot
Undeniably the stuff of nightmares, German roboticists have 3D printed an octoped Hell-beast capable of walking on rough ground and actually jumping over gaps. Though hopefully not onto your face. It’s actual purpose is to scour earthquake-ravaged buildings for survivors. And then jump onto their faces.

Commodore 64 Extreme
Yes, the Mac Mini is a very pretty little self-contained computer, but does it have the retro stylings and sentimental value of a Commodore 64? No Sir, it does not. This is actually a quad-core, Intel i7 update of the old favourite, which brings it bang up to date with your modern sort. And you don’t have to splash out for a keyboard, either.

Circuit board toilet
Known as the Royal Data Throne, this $500 bog is obviously marketed at a very niche demographic. Namely people with no desire to ever entertain guests. Hang on, hang on… it’s not actually a toilet. It’s only about a foot square, for a start. Nay; it’s a small desktop chest for, well, data and stuff. USB sticks and the like. Quite expensive, then, given that it performs roughly the same job as one of these.

Google does Halloween
Ah, Halloween; the complete non-entity of a holiday that encourages the kind of organised begging that borders on terrorism. It’s doing a fine job of worming its way into British society from the States. They bloody love it over there. Google, especially, which spent a considerable amount of time carving its own logo into some pumpkins.

Google does a barrel roll
The web was sent spiralling into a frenzy earlier this week when Google unleashed a feature that makes the page spin when you Google ‘Do a barrel roll’. All nice and fun, but what with this and the Halloween thing you’ve got to wonder what the hell’s going on over at Google HQ. They must not have an awful lot to do if this kind of stuff’s getting actioned. Maybe they’ve just hired far too many programmers and have to give them inane things to code to fill their time?

Internet = strawberry
Sit this on top of the enormous list of ‘things you don’t really care about but know anyway.’ According to some sciency people, the mass of the entire internet weighs about the same as a strawberry. And that’s mostly electrons; the actual information weighs about as much as a speck of dust. Good to know, but you’d have thought all that Porn would bloat it out a bit more.

3.5 million still on dial-up

The race to be the most web-connected country is a big one these days, so it’s odd to find out that AOL has added 200,000 56k dial-up users this year in the US. Apparently 3.5million people are still on the ancient system across the pond. If all their routers starting screaming at once, you’d probably hear it from here. EEEEEE-EEEEEE-EEEEEE-GUDURGGH-GUDURGHH-NAA-GNEERRRRRR…

And finally…

Microsoft invents the future

Following in Google’s footsteps on the ‘we’ve got nothing better to do’ front, Microsoft’s pumped a considerable amount of cash into this rendering of the near future. It’s full of sharp objects and plinky plonky music…